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At what temp do you reload?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by HollowHill, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    Let me ask some specific advice about the "if it fits, i shut the door and close her down till morning." part ...

    First, are you all really fully reloading your stoves on top of the coals that are ready or are you actually only adding in a few more splits and that is the reload? Typically when I'm reloading I'm adding a few more splits (3-4 medium sized splits) but I could easily cram more in there. Typically my first reload will last about 3 hours and my second reload will last about 4 hours and then after that I sort of have to wait to be able to add even those 3-4 medium sized splits again. So the subsequent loads are like 5 hours at the most but my attempts at an "overnight burn of 8 hours" really only leaves just enough barely good burners to start another fire without fooling with kindling but it by far isn't "a bed of good glowing coals" after 8 hours of burning overnight. Any advice about this would be wonderful.

    Second, how long do you wait before you close all the air controls after reloading? Is it as soon as you can close the door or do you wait a while like for the wood to just start scorching, or for it to completely scorch or even for it to completely start burning? Typically I reload by adding a few more splits, wait about 1 minute no more and then close the air controls about halfway to 3/4ths closed but if I close all the air controls completely I seem to get dirty glass. I'm reloading at approx 400 degrees measured with my IR right on top of the firebox. Again any advice would be wonderful. Thanks.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    1. First, are you all really fully reloading your stoves on top of the coals that are ready or are you actually only adding in a few more splits and that is the reload?

    How much wood to put into the stove is determined by how warm the house is and what the outdoor temperature is. If it is winter cold, fill it. This time of the year, a couple splits should do fine.

    For longer overnight burns much depends upon what type of wood you have. For example, if you have oak, that should be saved for those long cold winter nights when you need the heat. Other nights, what we typically do is put a large split or a round in the bottom rear of the stove (this is after pushing the coals to the front). We'll put a faster burning wood, like soft maple in the bottom front and then fill in with whatever else we have, which at present is ash.

    In the morning you do whatever is necessary to get the new fire going. If you have a good bed of coals, it is easy. It is nice to put in a couple pieces of kindling to help the new fire get going but not always necessary. Again, rake the coals to the front of the stove and load on them. If not many coals, a Super Cedar can work wonders.

    2. How long do you wait before you close all the air controls after reloading?

    Remember that each stove and each installation can be different and don't forget that the fuel you put in has the greatest influence. Some need to leave the door cracked until they get some flame and some don't. Don't close your draft until the wood gets charred. That could take from 5-15 minutes depending on the wood. Typically, we turn the draft down to 50% after about 5-10 minutes and when the flue reaches 400-500 degrees, the draft gets closed more. Our draft control goes from 1 to 4. Our final closing sets it a bit below 1. Others with the same stove as ours may be the same but may be up to 1 1/4. You also should know our stove is a cat stove so when the stove top is 250 and flue 400-500, the draft gets turned down and the catalyst engaged.

    So, the biggest thing to remember is that the fuel is the biggest factor in running that stove. I hope this helps.
    corey21 and Huntindog1 like this.
  3. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    Wow Dennis thanks for this! I'll start leaving a little more time between reloading the stove and adjusting the air down. Around here average humidity is between 18 and 20 percent and all my firewood is fully dry (split & stacked minimally for a full two years in open sun and in open wind) so it starts up so fast it is scary sometimes, that's why whenever I reload I only wait one minute or so to shut the air to halfway or less but I also notice a temporary temperature drop after reloading so I should definitely start leaving a little more time. Wow, there's so much art to this science!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Not really so much there once you get it all together. And on the reloads, once the wood gets charred, you are good to go!
  5. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    Roger That! Just so I sorta understand the "science behind the art" here, is the reason you would only wait for the wood to char is that even though all that wood isn't yet on fire, its combustion gases are getting released as soon as its charring and therefore that fuels the fire even before the wood gets going? Thanks.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And most of the moisture should be off then.
  7. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Most of the time this fall i have just been putting in 2 or 3 splits for now cause not much heat is needed.

    But once winter really kicks in my loads will more the likely get the stove stuffed.
  8. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Turbo,

    You have a secondary burn tubes in the top of your stove. Cat stoves can operate at lower heat levels. The cat needs about 500 flue temp to fire off.An aspect for your type stove is your trying to get the heat up in the stove so then as you turn the air down your look for a more pronounced secondary firing up around those tubes. As you turn the air down you dont want to see those secondary flames go out. You know when to stop shutting the air down as the stove reacts to those small increments of less air. As you should turn down your stove in small increments. Your turning it down like 1/4 the way then letting the stove balance back out but you should watch and see how it reacts. If the turn down was too soon you will see the stove heat up more slowly and secondaries go out. Another aspect if all is right is as you turn the primary air down and if you have enough heat built up in the stove you should see more secondaries flaming up in the top of the stove as the draw of the flue is sucking air into the stove, part of the air is coming from the openings of the adjustable primary air and part of the air is coming from the non-adjustable secondary air. As you turn the primary air more closed the suction of the flue is going to suck more air out of the secondary air tubes. This causes more secondary flaming if you have the heat built up in the stove to a level that allows secondary ignition of the smoke gases. Its the good quality small kindling and a super cedar fire starter that gets your heat up quickly to get into that secondary burn mode of operation to get the air shut down to a lowest level that maintains secondary flaming mode.

    But basically for me its about a 400 stove top temp and about a 300 degree stove pipe temp 18" up on pipe that I slowly start incrementing down the air in 1/4 way steps.

    You might read this post also:

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/rake-coals-forward-and-stove-start-up-pictures.80659/
  9. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    I reload when the wife is cold...

    KaptJaq
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I always thought it best to run the full cycle of the burn and reload on a decent coal bed with a stove top temp around 200-300 degrees. If you have to reload at higher temps maybe you need a larger stove?
  11. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Plus reloading on a really full and hot coal bed can cause stove to get really hot and hard to get it to cool down. I speak of experience.

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